By HDN Staff
It's been a long time coming, but it looks like the downtown park and city square is on the way.
Started six or seven years ago by the city government, the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce has picked up the idea, made arrangements and has already started raising funds to create the park south of First Street between Third and Fourth avenues, in the property owned by Wells Fargo Bank and Bear Paw Credit Union.
Whoever is ultimately responsible for the creation of the park, we applaud the effort to improve the city. Whether it helps attract new business, gives tourists more reason to stop, or just makes the city a little nicer place to live, shop and do business in, this is an excellent idea. It's a good thing to make Havre a little nicer and more attractive, and to give a place to gather to relax or for special occasions.
There is concern about the parking this will eliminate, but the evidence shows that this is should not be a major problem. A study commissioned by the city, published in 1994, shows that Havre has about double the average downtown parking of cities the same size. There will still be 52 spaces available in the parking lot, in addition to the on street parking downtown.
here is also concern that the Department of Transportation will extend the turning lane on First Street the rest of the way through town, eliminating more parking. However, DOT personnel from both the Havre office and the Great Falls district office say there are no plans to do so. While they say future plans could change, depending on studies on accidents and traffic use, that's a pretty big "what if" to prevent efforts to make the city a nicer place to live.
Hats off to all involved in trying to make this park a reality and improve our community.